Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Career Plan

Become a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Resources…

Vocational rehabilitation counselors have graduate level education. If you start planning during your high school years, you can be on the fast track to personal career success — and to helping those who are less fortunate achieve their own success.

  1. Take a college prep curriculum with plenty of classes in English and the sciences. Consider advanced placement psychology.

    Look for volunteer opportunities in human services. Vocational rehabilitation counselors work with people with mental and physical disabilities or substance abuse problems. You will want to pursue opportunities to work with these populations. You can also participate in groups that allow you to serve as a peer role model.

  2. Research undergraduate programs. You may choose a program in rehabilitation or in psychology or human services. Look for something that interests you and opens up job opportunities in a related field. No particular major is required for grad school admission, but you’ll want to demonstrate academic aptitude and dedication to the profession.

  3. Participate in career-related activities in college. You might join the Health Occupations Student Association (HOSA) or the psychology honor society.

  4. Take the graduation admission test and approach professors for references.

    Research graduate level rehabilitation counseling programs. Look for a program that is accredited by the Council On Rehabilitation Education. (If you choose a program that is not accredited by CORE, you may still be eligible for certification, but there will be more steps to the process.)

  5. Do well in your studies and in your practicum experiences and internships. Consider joining a professional organization like the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association. Student members have opportunities to network, participate in competitions, and serve on committees — all things that can give you a competitive edge. Membership in the National Rehabilitation Association gives you access to a mentor as well as opportunities to participate in leadership and community service activities.

  6. Fulfill certification requirements and secure your first position. Your professional contacts are among your best assets. The National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials operates a site, Rehab Jobs, where you can post your resume or CV.

Personality Traits: Vocational rehabilitation counselors should have empathy and good communication skills. Professionalism and critical thinking are important as well.